South Africa beat Zimbabwe 3-0 in their bilateral ODI series prior to the Triangular series © AFP
By Sameer Jha
Zimbabwe will face off against South Africa in the third One-Day International (ODI) of the triangular series at Harare on Friday, August 29. Considering recent form, South Africa should emerge as comfortable victors, but they will have to guard against complacency.
Zimbabwe have been on a six-match losing streak in ODIs — something that they would like to put out of their minds when they take the field in the upcoming match. The hosts will be without the services of Tinashe Panyangara, who was suspended from the triangular series for disruptive behaviour. According to reports, the suspension was imposed because Panyangara allegedly shared a video of Mitchell Johnson bowling bouncers in the Ashes 2013-14 held in Australia last year.
Zimbabwe’s losing streak began against Afghanistan, in the third ODI of the four match series held last month. It was a closely fought match, which Afghanistan won by two wickets with just two balls to spare. Zimbabwe haven’t been able to clinch victory after that. They lost a Test match and three ODIs to South Africa, and were handed a 198-run defeat by Australia in the first ODI of the ongoing triangular series.
South Africa, on the other hand, seem to be riding on a winning wave. They clinched the No. 1 Test spot from Australia by winning a two-match Test series against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka. They had no troubles beating Zimbabwe 3-0 in the ODI series, and won the only Test by nine wickets. More recently, they chased down a total of 327 against Australia, with the help of heroic centuries by AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis.
It remains to be seen Zimbabwe will end their miserable run of form by causing a huge upset, or South Africa will once again emerge victorious in the battle of two extremes.
Time: 07.30 GMT | 13.00 IST
Zimbabwe: Elton Chigumbura (c), Brendan Taylor, Hamilton Masakadza, Vusimuzi Sibanda, Sean Williams, Richmond Mutumbami (wk), Luke Jongwe, Malcolm Waller, Prosper Utseya, John Nyumbu, Shingirai Masakadza, Timycen Maruma, Neville Madziva, Sikandar Raza Butt, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Brian Vitori, Donald Tiripano, Tendai Chatara
South Africa: AB de Villiers (c), Hashim Amla, Kyle Abbott , Quinton de Kock (wk), JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Rilee Rossouw, Mthokozisi Shezi, Dale Steyn
(Sameer Jha is a reporter at cricketcountry.com. He can be followed on Twitter at @SameerJha_)